Digital Battlespace

BAE receives F-35 EW upgrade contract

22nd August 2019 - 07:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


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BAE Systems has received a Block 4 modernisation contract award from Lockheed Martin to enhance the offensive and defensive electronic warfare (EW) capabilities of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Under the contract, BAE Systems will modernise its AN/ASQ-239 electronic warfare/countermeasures (EW/CM) system to address emerging threats and maintain US and allied partners’ ability to safely conduct missions in contested airspace.

‘The F-35 will be in service for decades, and we’re committed to providing our pilots with an AN/ASQ-239 capability that affords a decisive and sustained EW operational advantage,’ Deborah Norton, VP of F-35 solutions at BAE Systems, said. 

‘Our robust, modular architecture enables us to efficiently insert new capabilities, supporting the next wave of technical innovation while proactively addressing total product lifecycle sustainability.’

BAE Systems has been the EW supplier for the F-35 programme for 14 years, having designed and developed the Block 1, Block 2, and Block 3 configurations, and delivered production units for each of the low rate initial production lots 1-11. 

The Block 4 programme is a multi-year, multi-contract design and development effort that will add eleven new capabilities to the EW system. 

These improvements will be made as part of the new F-35 agile contracting and development paradigm called Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2). 

The C2D2 construct facilitates capabilities being continuously developed and fielded in 6-12-month intervals, providing operators with incremental enhancements to keep pace with the evolving threats.

BAE Systems has delivered in excess of 500 F-35 AN/ASQ-239 EW/CM shipsets to date, and is currently matching aircraft production with continual on-time delivery as the programme ramps to full-rate production. 

As part of the development of the capability, the company has invested in process automation, facility optimisation, quality assurance, personnel and the supply chain, it says.


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